The music industry of China is an unknown continent from a Western music business research perspective. Therefore it is very meritorious that John Fangjun Li, a lecturer and PhD candidate (2008-2012) at Macquarie University, provides one of the first overviews of the history of China’s music industry for an international readership. In a series of four blog contributions he highlights the development of the recorded music industry in more than 100 years from the final period of Imperial China to the current Peoples Republic of China. He gives an overview of the impact of Western major recorded music companies in the first half of the 20th century and of the emergence of serveral state operated but also privately owned Chinese companies after the Great Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing and other large cities. He also highlights the current digital music business in China that has been dominating the recorded music industry since the the mid 2000s.
In the introductory chapter, John Fangjun Li defines the research field and outlines his concept of “music industry” in China, in which covergence of technology, politics and cultural expression plays a crucial role.